Grant funding for growers -- Part II

While not plentiful, grant opportunities for growers do exist. Here is a brief list of grants offered to Michigan growers.

This article follows Grant funding for growers: Part I, which offered guidelines for growers interested in pursuing grant funding. In Part II, Michigan State University Extension outlines some grants of interest to Michigan growers. 

NCR SARE Farmer Rancher

NCR-SARE’s Farmer Rancher Grant Program is a competitive grants program for farmers and ranchers who want to explore sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstration, and education projects. Farmer Rancher grants individual ($7,500 maximum), partner ($15,000 maximum), or group ($22,500 maximum) grants for ideas initiated by farmers and ranchers.

Important Dates

August - Call for Proposals
Late November - Proposals Due
Spring - Funds Available to Recipients.

Organic Farming Research Foundation Education and Outreach Grants Program

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) offers funding for organic seed quality or crop breeding projects. Grants are intended to fund development of educational activities and resources on certified organic production. OFRF will consider proposals for media or interactive outreach. Limited to $15,000 per year.

Important Dates

Proposals due by May 15, 2013.

Food Animal Concerns Trust Fund-a-Farmer Project

The Fund-a-Farmer Project, a project of Food Animal Concerns Trust, awards grants of up to $1,500 for projects that help family farmers transition to pasture-based systems, improve the marketing of their humane products, or more generally to enrich the conditions in which the farm animals are raised. Farms applying for funding for a pasture or welfare project must raise at least one of the following animal species: pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens, dairy cows, and beef cattle. Farms applying for funding for a marketing-based project must raise at least one of the following species: goats, sheep, pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens, dairy cows, and beef cattle. Grants will be made only to farmers for a project on a working, independent family farm.

Important Dates

Applications must be submitted online or postmarked by May 1, 2013.

USDA Value Added Producer Grant

The primary objective of the VAPG program is to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based value-added products. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the end goals of this program. You may receive priority if you are a beginning farmer or rancher, a socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher, a small or medium-sized farm or ranch structured as a family farm, a farmer or rancher cooperative, or are proposing a mid-tier value chain, as defined in the program regulation.


The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary conservation program administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. It supports production agriculture and environmental quality as compatible goals. Through EQIP, farmers, ranchers, private forest land owners and Federally-recognized American Indian tribes may receive financial and technical assistance to implement structural and land management conservation practices on eligible agricultural land.

For more information on grants please contact your local MSU Extension office or visit the following websites for more grant options:  ATTRA, the USDA National Agricultural Library, Beginning Farmers, or MOSES Organic for organic grant options.  

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